Picking one it would be Bernard King. UNREAL scoring ability and for a three year stretch back from '82-'85, he was the best small forward in the game. Larry Bird's words, not mine.. I believe that it was one of those NBA TV one hour specials on Bernard and as part of an interview that was done at that time, Larry Bird unequivocally stated that he thought Bernard was the best SF in the game. Averaged 26.6 PPG during that time WITHOUT the use of the three point shot. The record that LeBron broke when playing against the Pistons and he scored like 27 points in a row was set by Bernard with 25 straight against the '84 Bad Boy Pistons. Much more physical defenses back then and hand checking; not like this pitty pat shit of today. Scored 50, 50 and 38 during the Texas Triangle (SA, Dallas and Houston). Averaged over 42 points per game in the Pistons series, and single handedly almost beat the Celtics after beating the Pistons. Was averaging 32.9 and on the way easily to the scoring title when he blew his knee out against SAC in the 55th game. One of the only players to score 50 points for three different teams. Averaged 28.4 PPG the year before he RETIRED with the Bullets. Knicks screwed him by not re-signing him when they drafted Patrick after rehabbing for two years to get back. One of the worst decisions the Knicks have ever made and he would routinely come back to torch the Knicks when he was with the Bullets. Here are my personal rankings as unfortunately I did not get a chance to see Willis, Clyde, Earl, Bradley, Debuschere, or Richie Geurin play:
1. Bernard King (reasons above)
2. Patrick Ewing - heart and soul of the Knicks and would have won a ring if they gave him better players.
3. LJ - a freak!!!! Watch the videos of him in is prime. Yesteryear's Blake Griffin with a jump shot and a hell of alot more moves.
4. Starks - best in game dunk against the Bulls EVER!!!!!!! Crazy as shit but came from nowhere to making an All Star team in '94.
5. Spree - played at SF out of position but showed heart in NY after people thought he would blow a gasket in NY after choking PJ Carlesimo in GS.
6. Houston - one of the sweetest jumpers in the league ever and hit the improbable shot against Miami.
7. Mase- 6'7" point forward from Queens Bridge that was actually one of the best ballhandlers in the NBA at his peak and matchup nightmare at Small Forward. He and Oak were the meanest tandem of forwards at the time in the league. Mean as in you did not want to try and try and act badass with these cats...
During the summer, check on some of the videos of these cats on NBA TV and MSG. Their skill sets were unreal. More on Bernard:
"1983-84 Knicks: The 1984 Knicks finished with a 47-35 record, but it is not what they did in the regular season that sticks out. It is what they did in the postseason. They were led by Hubie Brown who had a strong mind for the game of basketball. Players like Rory Sparrow and Ray Williams at guard, Louis Orr, big Truck Robinson and Bill Cartwright clogging the middle, however as good as all those players were, there was no one in Knicks history that had the scoring ability of Bernard King. That is right Melo fans i said it. Bernard perhaps is one of the most underated scorers this league has ever seen and in a first round playoff series against the Isiah Thomas led pistons Bernard King put on a show when it counted most.
Bernard averaged over 42 points through four games and in a deciding game 5 in Detroit with Thomas exploding for 16 points in the final 94 seconds, yes you heard me 16 in the final 94 and not letting the Pistons go without a fight Bernard saved his best for last in what I believe in the greatest first round playoff game ever. Bernard willed the Knicks to victory with 48 and then they faced off against the heavily favored Boston Celtics led by Bird, McHale, and Parish. The Knicks fought tooth and nail before the Celtics won in a grueling seven games.
The Celtics would eventually go on to win he title by beating the Lakers in seven, but the Knicks of 84 gave them just as good of a fight as anyone else that year and with the best closer the Knicks have ever had it would be pretty illogical to not include this Knick team as one of the greatest ever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOy_mGcL5wM&feature=related"